Every successful growing season begins (and often ends) with crop scouting. Accurately aggregating data on crop conditions, weed risks, pest threats and a range of other mission-critical details does far more than offer farmers an up-close look into year-over-year trends; effectively interpreting field and insect intelligence in virtual real-time gives growers the insight needed to implement fast and agile intervention measures to prevent crop loss and ultimately protect profits.
Use Mobile Innovation To Optimize Higher Yields And Higher Revenues
For previous generations of farmers, scouting was a long, arduous, and sometimes highly inaccurate process. Growers, agronomists, and applicators walked their fields, often independently, carefully writing notes and recording vital details to help with both current and future year strategies. While a manual process can offer a wealth of knowledge to help agribusinesses prepare and plan, it's also rife with the potential risk found in any paper trail: data that's overlooked, misread, or lost.
Modern growers no longer have to rely on manual tracking methods (as well as manual tracking mistakes) to manage scouting needs; there are several innovative, intuitive, and, most importantly, effective mobile apps designed specifically to streamline essential scouting responsibilities and outcomes. These on-the-go digital tools grant farmers in every agricultural vertical an opportunity to eliminate informational silos, drive efficiencies, and ultimately leverage the power of big data for informed final decisions that directly impact their bottom lines.
Benefits Of Using Mobile Scouting Technology
Utilizing mobile scouting technology with your harvest can provide an impressive and diverse range of benefits to your entire operation. Whether you’re a farm manager or a consultant, the right crop scouting apps make a huge difference to a successful growing season. When consistently and correctly used, crop scouting technology offers:
Centralized Data Collection
Capturing relevant intelligence in one place ensures that every level of your operation has access to what they need, whenever or wherever they need it. You'll no longer have to worry about information gaps. Everyone who has been granted permission to view your log will quickly and easily be able to find what's required to keep things moving forward.
One Field Device
Manually tracking information requires carrying a slew of tools, devices, and resources as you make your inspection rounds. Writing materials, cameras, video cameras, sketchbooks – these are just some of the items you'll need for full-scope data collection. A mobile application narrows your scouting toolbox down to a single device capable of every function needed.
Enhanced Customer Service
Real-time, accurate crop intelligence eliminates communication gaps between growers and customers while improving service excellence for an enhanced overall client experience.
Most importantly, implementing an innovative crop scouting app can have a significant impact on the time required for daily, weekly, and seasonal tasks. Your adopted technology can set up alerts for various issues of concern as well as focus on specific fields or growing areas. Other functions include drop-down menus for easier data entry and cloud storage. Speed-of-light technology means vital functionality and data tracking are performed in mere minutes instead of hours, allowing growers an opportunity to service more acres in a shorter span of time.
Find The Right Mobile App For Your Agricultural Needs
Stop struggling with pens, paper, and cameras as you walk your fields. Instead, tap into the power of any of these readily available, easy-to-use apps to reap the rewards of real-time intelligence and elevated in-field scouting. Here are just a few app options that transform your smart device into a powerful data hub built to maximize efficiency and results within your scouting process.
AgraScout uses GPS to determine your current location and quickly scouts the fields in the surrounding area. After a rainstorm or long drought period, this can make the difference between a failed year and a profitable one.
Trimble Ag Mobile
Trimble Ag Mobile helps you maintain a steady focus on field output and overall profit margins. Quickly store, track, and analyze a range of essential agricultural datasets including pest images and crop health in real-time, without wasting precious hours in front of your computer screen.
Farm Dog Scout
Farm Dog Scout not only delivers a full suite of data capture functionality and analytics, it also offers optimal process efficacy. The first users of this innovative app claimed a time savings of up to 45 minutes a day.
This particular app was designed specifically for the iPad, giving agriculturalists end-to-end functionality right at your fingertips. High-def mapping, notes, detailed summaries, and location queries – AgFiniti Mobile gives you on-the-go access to the field intelligence you need when you need it.
As its name implies, Croptivity focuses on plant issues. This app centralizes all activity between scout, grower, and agronomist to expedite communication, proactive problem resolution, and acres serviced throughout every growing phase.
ScoutDoc offers easy data capture on critical details such as input crop, field identification, weeds, insects, and disease risk. Sync files, export information, and share documents with various key players throughout your operation.
These are just a few of the many available platforms. Others you may to consider include Landscout 2, Mavrx, [AR1] CropRecords, eCropScout, iSOYLscout, and Sirrus.
Choosing The Best App For Your Fields
With so many available options, finding the right one for your farm may initially feel overwhelming, prompting you to forego automating your current scouting routine altogether. Don't give up just yet. Go into the selection process armed with a few simple tips to expedite your final, informed decision. When making your shortlist of options, consider:
The device you'll use to access the program will play a key role in the selection process. As with any app, crop scouting technology is available for Android, Apple, or both. You can instantly eliminate options that aren't supported by your operating system or won't integrate with already existing technology being used to track other business details.
Additionally, many fields aren’t near WiFi signals or cell towers – and that's okay. There are several options available, such as OpenScout and ScoutPro, that allow farmers to assess pest levels and other crop data without being connected to the cloud. You'll want to keep this in mind if some (or all) of your acres are in remote areas where you may not have Internet access.
Each design has slightly different features and functionalities; it's important to evaluate each option carefully and determine which one is best suited for your application.
Ease Of Use
You'll also want to consider how easy the technology is to use. The idea is to save you time, not make crop scouting more complex. Work with your crew to ensure the interface is user-friendly enough to minimize any needed ramp-up time.
Regardless of platform and specific functionality, crop scouting apps provide fast, accurate data regarding the health of crops in real time. Early detection of any issues that can affect yield greatly enhances the likelihood of a successful final harvest.
What crop scouting software do you use on your farm? Did we miss one of your favorite apps? Tell us about it (and why you love it) in the comments section below!